E2A Newsletter, September 2016
Rita Badiani joins E2A as new project director
Rita Badiani has joined E2A as our new project director. Ms. Rita Badiani has a master’s degree in Population Studies and about 30 years of professional experience in program management and development related to international health, primarily reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. The geographic breadth of her experience includes 13 years in Mozambique; 6 years in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ghana; and 10 years in Brazil. Ms. Badiani spent the last 6 years in Mozambique, where she was the country representative for Pathfinder International. While in Mozambique, she managed a diverse portfolio of projects supported by the US Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the United Nations Population Fund, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, and private donors. Under Ms. Badiani’s leadership, the Government of Mozambique has institutionalized several important initiatives that are advancing sexual and reproductive health in the country, including the Geracao Biz program for youth. Ms. Badiani has significant experience in the areas of family planning, HIV prevention, behavior change, and integration of facility-based services. Please join us in warmly welcoming Ms. Badiani to lead E2A!
Consensus to Action: Developing solutions for expanding method choice for youth
On September 20, the convener’s group that launched the Global Consensus Statement—Expanding Contraceptive Choice for Adolescents and Youth to Include Long-Acting Reversible Contraception—joined to assess where we are now, where we are going, and what it will take to guarantee young people full contraceptive choice that includes access to long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). The meeting was supported by the USAID-funded LARC/Permanent Methods Community of Practice and organized by several members of the convener’s group: Population Services International, Pathfinder International, E2A, and FHI 360.
Callie Simon, Pathfinder International’s Senior Technical Advisor for Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health, gave opening remarks, speaking about the “groundswell of movement toward full choice for youth.” She noted that the Global Consensus Statement has been endorsed by 50 organizations, and with this surge in energy and commitment, we must now must look at what solutions to expanding contraceptive choice for youth have worked and what solutions still need to be developed.
“We need to show there are certain methods to generate demand, create an adequate response, and get [long-acting reversible contraceptives] to be given to young people in a safe way when they demand them,” said Jennifer McCleary-Sills of the International Center for Research on Women of the evidence needed to expand young people’s access to LARCs. She cited several evidence gaps that need to be filled related to issues including discontinuation rates among youth who use LARCs, determining young people’s misconceptions about LARCs, defining who the new LARCs users are versus those who have switched from another method, and measuring client satisfaction with implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
The Global Consensus Statement, launched one year ago, provides considerable evidence on the safety of LARCs for youth and makes the rights-based case for guaranteeing young people wide contraceptive choice. The statement can be used as an effective tool for advocacy.
Ramya Jawahar Kudekallu of International Youth Alliance for Family Planning told the audience she had used the Global Consensus Statement to advocate for inclusion of contraceptive choice in the National Women’s Policy in India. Presenting the Global Consensus Statement to policymakers and using the evidence that is cited within the statement, she made a compelling case for expanding contraceptive choice for women of all ages, and the policy, with the new language incorporated, is now before the Government of India for approval.
“Unless we recognize gaps and shortcomings in terms of advocacy, support, and political will, we will not be able to help youth,” said Kudekallu.
Strengthening advocacy was one of several important topics discussed at the meeting. Other topics included: improving contraceptive counseling for youth, creating demand, measuring and using data, getting to scale, and addressing provider values and perceptions. Related to the latter topic, E2A presented its University Leadership for Change initiative, showing a behavior-change video, Whose Norms?, which E2A has used to address providers’ perceptions about LARCs for youth in Niger.
In terms of addressing provider perceptions, Dr. Edgar Kuchingale of the Medical Association of Malawi said that providers in Malawi still prefer to provide Depo Provera, despite the fact that LARCs are proven to be the most effective methods at preventing unintended pregnancies and save providers time with clients because they diminish the number of times a client must return to her provider for contraception.
“Providers have made this their preferred method because it will only take them a few minutes, but the times of year the provider sees the client is more,” said Kuchingale. “As professional bodies, we need to train our providers better.”
The recommendations generated from this meeting will be widely circulated in an effort to operationalize the Global Consensus Statement to expand contraceptive choice for youth.
E2A on the move, upcoming event at Kaiser Foundation, and new GHSP publication
As of October 3, E2A will be at a new location:
1250 23rd Street NW, Suite 475
Washington, DC 20037
Stay tuned for details about an open house at our new office!
Event at the Kaiser Family Foundation
Also on October 3, E2A will host an event at the Kaiser Family Foundation:
Taking Evidence to Action: Scalable approaches to expanding contraceptive choice for women and youth in four African countries
When: 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. (lunch will be served)
Where: Kaiser Family Foundation, Barbara Jordan Conference Center, 1330 G St NW, Washington, DC
About: Countries around the world have made ambitious pledges to work toward universal access to sexual and reproductive health services—which includes quality family planning services that offer women and girls a wide range of contraceptive methods. Those pledges culminated most recently in commitments under the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. To succeed in these efforts, effective family planning interventions need to move beyond small-scale projects to reach much larger populations by applying systematic approaches to scale-up.
Join us for a rare opportunity to engage with Pathfinder International’s country representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Niger, and Nigeria about how interventions implemented under the E2A Project were systematically designed and implemented in ways that looked ahead to future scale-up. The country representatives will describe how they used E2A’s approach of taking evidence to action to ensure the interventions’ potential for scale. Learning on how the interventions helped to expand contraceptive choice for underserved communities, and in particular reach adolescents and youth, will be highlighted.
- Patricia McDonald, Senior Technical Advisor, USAID, Office of Population and Reproductive Health
- Teshome Woldemedhin, Senior Youth and SRH Advisor, USAID, Office of Population and Reproductive Health
- Aben Ngay, Country Representative, Pathfinder International, Democratic Republic of Congo
- Mengistu Asnake, Country Representative, Pathfinder International, Ethiopia
- Sani Aliou, Country Representative, Pathfinder International, Niger
- Farouk Jega, Country Representative, Pathfinder International, Nigeria
Global Health: Science and Practice Article
Last but not least, Pathfinder International has just published an article in Global Health: Science and Practice that features E2A-supported work in Mozambique. The article, Safety and Acceptability of Community-Based Distribution of Injectable Contraceptives: A Pilot Project in Mozambique, shows how task-sharing can improve rural women’s access to injectables and help meet women’s demand for contraception.